New Site Offers Help For Pet Parents And Makeovers For Shelters

If your local animal shelter could use a makeover, Richard Thompson, the "Top Cat" at a new website, may have a big check for you.

PETS & PEOPLE

New Site Offers Help For Pet Parents And Makeovers For Shelters

(NAPSA)—Your pet project this year could be helping the animal shelter in your community win a million-dollar makeover. 

Zootoo House, Inc., a new organization dedicated to renovating needy and deserving animal shelters, will award one shelter a renovation valued at up to $1 million—while 19 others will receive prizes of $5,000 to $10,000 to be used for shelter improvements.

You can earn points for your favorite shelter by becoming a member of Zootoo.com, a user-generated Web site where people share their opinions and experiences regarding all things related to pets.

Zootoo.com was started by Richard Thompson, the former CEO and “Top Cat” of The Meow Mix Company. While working there, Thompson donated hundreds of thousands of pounds of cat food to animal shelters across the country.

He visited many of them and was often appalled by what he saw: overcrowded cages, too little nutritious food, not enough room to run and play, great pets waiting too long to be adopted.

Thompson met dozens of dedicated pet lovers who work at shelters or generously volunteer their time and heard a common refrain: There are too many pets in need of homes and not enough money to care for them properly while they await adoption.

Not one to see a problem and walk away, Thompson created Zootoo House, Inc. to generate awareness of shelters in communities; to support shelters in a daily quest to save lives; and to assist shelters in obtaining necessary funding.

“During my years in the pet food industry, I’ve witnessed the dedication and commitment of the people who keep our shelters operating and save the lives of thousands of animals every day,” said Thompson. “Yet despite all of their hard work, shelters lack the financial resources and manpower needed to reach our ultimate goal—finding a permanent, loving home for every animal.”

You can help your favorite shelter win a makeover by becoming an active member of Zootoo.com and by encouraging other shelter supporters to join the opinionsharing Web site, which allows all pet lovers to help each other by sharing their knowledge.

Zootoo.com provides people with all the tools and resources they need to find and review pet products and local pet services, to speak up about issues and concerns, and to share and connect with other pet lovers.

When first-time visitors go to the site, they will be given the option of selecting a shelter to support. Then, every time they visit the site—whether it’s to review a product or service, share an opinion or refer a friend—they will automatically earn points for their designated shelter.

The 20 shelters that accumulate the most points by March 31, 2008, will be eligible to win the makeover or runners-up prizes.

The Zootoo Advisory Board—which consists of Thompson, Bill Meade from Shelter Planners of America and Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, as well as other pet industry experts—will personally conduct site visits of all 20 shelters to evaluate their needs and how to best meet them.

The shelter deemed most deserving will win a makeover valued at up to 1 million dollars. A second shelter will win a $10,000 cash prize, and the 18 other top shelters will each receive $5,000 for shelter improvements.

Details of rules for the program are available at Zootoo.com.